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One of the Republicans mulling a challenge to Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) in New Jersey’s 11th district next year says he is an fan of the freshman congresswoman but thinks she’s wrong on her statements about impeaching President Donald Trump.
Patrick Allocco, a former aide to Gov. Tom Kean, sought the GOP nomination last year and told the New Jersey Globe that he’s considering another run in 2020.
“To be certain, as a lifelong Republican, I am an admirer of Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill’s accomplishments, both personal and professional, as well as her character,” Allocco said. “I had the pleasure of briefly getting to know her while sharing a debate stage during last year’s primary season.”
But Sherrill’s decision to “sound the alarm for impeachment” is “misguided and out of step” with her district, Allocco argues. He says since taking office in January, Sherrill has voted along part lines 100% of the time.
“She has voted with Speaker Nancy Pelosi 97% of the time; they have only disagreed on one vote,” Allocco said. “And, she has voted 91%* of the time with the extreme fringe of her party namely Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar”
Fivethityeight.com, a news site that tracks congressional votes, shows Sherrill voting with Trump just 4.3% of the time. That number is identical to two other freshman Democrats, Reps. Andy Kim (D-Marlton) and Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill).
“Sherrill’s latest call for impeachment, is merely a coordinated partisan election-year attack by the Pelosi-led Democrats to demonstrate to their supporters that they are not helpless against a defiant Executive Branch,” Allocco said. “It is high theater that comes with a psychological and financial cost to the nation.”
In January, Sherrill was one of fifteen House Democrats not to support Pelosi’s bid for Speaker.
When he sought the Republican congressional nomination in 2018, Allocco proposed using an American Idol-like technology to allow constituents to determine how he would vote.
Now, Allocco is calling on Sherrill to use the voice of her constituents, not Pelosi, in determining her course in the 116th Congress.
“If the Congresswoman had sought the advice of her constituents, she would have learned that her decision to support impeachment is only advocated by a plurality of her base,” Allocco said. “The Congresswoman and the Speaker are well aware that an impeachment trial in the Senate is a non-starter. Hence, the Democrats are using Impeachment for one purpose only: political gain. Mikie, listen to your voters and not your political party.”
Allocco said his previous run for Congress gave him “a front row seat to see how divided and polarized our electorate has become.”
“Congresswoman Sherrill’s and Speaker Pelosi’s call for impeachment only serves to further plunge our democracy into a maelstrom,” Allocco said.